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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrThe Tuileries Garden (or Jardin des Tuileries in French) is one of the most visited parks in Paris, France. This is thanks to its location between The Louvre and the Place de la Concorde in the heart of the city. The garden was created by orders of Catherine de Medici as the garden of the Tuileries Palace in 1564. The Tuileries Garden is part of the historic axis that leads from the Louvre to La Défense and also includes the Arc de Triomphe.
The park features numerous fountains, two large basins, dozens of sculptures and even two museums, the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume and the Musée de l’Orangerie. The two buildings that house the museums are the only remains of the original Tuileries Palace.
HistoryQueen Catherine de Medici moved from her residence at the castle of Tornelles to the Louvre Palace after the death of her husband, King Henry II. Her son Francis II, the new King of France moved with her. She wanted a new palace built for herself, apart from The Louvre, with gardens that would resemble the countryside of her native Florence. When she moved there, the site was bordered by the River Seine, the Louvre, Rue Saint-Honoré and the city walls and a deep moat. The area had been occupied by several workshops where tiles for roofing were made, the so-called tuileries.
Catherine bought more land and hired a landscape architect from Florence. He was to build an Italian Renaissance garden, complete with a labyrinth, a grotto and fountains. Catherine’s private garden was 500 meters long and 300 meters wide and separated from her palace by a road. It consisted of lawns, clusters of trees, flowerbeds, a vineyard and kitchen garden.
After Catherine’s death, the Tuileries Garden was owned first by Henry IV and then by Louis XIII, who redesigned part of it and added structures, such as basins and stables. Between 1660 and 1664, under the reign of Louis XIV, the gardens were completely redesigned in French formal style by André le Nôtre. Le Nôtre was the personal gardener of the Sun King and is renowned for designing the gardens at the Palace of Versailles. He built a terrace along the River Seine and a central axis in the garden, which he would later extend by creating the Champs-Elysées.
After the French Revolution, the Tuileries Garden became the National Garden of the new Republic of France. It was redesigned once again, this in classic Roman style with porches, columns, porticos and or kinds of decoration. Many statues from royal residences where brought to the park to be displayed as well. In the 19th century the garden or park was a place where Parisians went to meet, walk and relax. Napoleon Bonaparte moved into the Tuileries Palace in 1800 and built a triumphal arch in front of it. After Napoleon’s fall, it became the residence of King Charles X and, later, King Louis-Phillipe and Emperor Louis Napoleon. Emperor Napoleon was defeated by the Germans in 1870 in the Tuileries Palace was burned to the ground.
Since the turn of the century, the garden has been opened to the public and filled with entertainment, such as puppet theaters, beverage stalls, acrobats, musicians and boat rides in the basins. The Tuileries Garden hosted the fencing tournament during the 1900 Olympics.
Now, the garden is divided into various sections. The Jardin du Carrousel used to be enclosed by the wings of the Louvre and the Tuileries Palace. This is the location of the Arc de triomphe du Carrousel and has a collection of 21 statues. The Terrasse lies between the Carrousel and the rest of the park. It has two large vases that used to stand at the Palace of Versailles. The Grand Carré of the Tuileries (Grand Square) is an open part in the garden, which still resembles le Nôtre original formal plan. The Carré is home to many statues by famous French sculptors. Other areas in the garden are the Grand Couvert, the Orangerie, Jeu de Paume and West Terrace.
Visiting the Tuileries GardenThis large park (or garden) is one of the largest and most visited in Paris. It is totally free to visit and is home to many food and drink stands. There are many chairs in the park, which visitors are allowed to take for free to go sit wherever they like. This is a place to get some fresh air, relax, enjoy the peacefulness of a public park and people-watch. It also conveniently lies on the historic axis, which essentially consists of and connects many major historic landmarks in the city.
Similar LandmarksOther Parisian landmarks on the historic axis are The Louvre, the Champs-Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde.
Other great urban parks in the world are Central Park, Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, Boston Common and Retiro Park in Madrid.
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Author: bramreusen. Last updated: Jan 07, 2015